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Maps where you can't kill everything/importance of 100% kills

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Sometimes when I play old wads with pistol start, when they're not really designed for it, there's nowhere near enough ammo to kill everything on the map without spending a lot of time punching/instigating infighting. This can be fun sometimes, it turns what would normally be an easy level into one where you have to choose your targets carefully and avoid getting cornered. This kind of gameplay is basically absent in newer wads, as far as I know. Is this a thing that anyone likes?

Note that I'm not talking about maps where you've got a few stray monsters that can't be killed because they're turrets or whatever.

Even including a bunch of ammo at the end isn't really a good solution, since that ruins things for continuous play. I guess you could always have a berserk near the exit so that speedrunners can go back and punch everything for a uv-max run.

Also, how important is it for people to get 100% kills in a first playthrough? I know I used to try for it in maps that weren't super-hard, but these days I'm fine with just getting to the exit, I find it more fun that way.

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It can be fun sometimes to try to come up with creative ways to kill monsters while maintaining ammunition for priority targets. I did a bit of this when I recorded max demos for Dimensions of Time, since most levels are severely lacking in ammo from a pistol start. I doubt many people would have the patience for that type of gameplay though. A frustrating example is the infamous e3m3 of 2002 a Doom Odyssey where 80 cacodemons teleport into a closed arena with no ammo or monsters to infight with (and the level has no backpack/berserk/chainsaw). I always pistol start everything though, as continuous play tends to trivialize all but the hardest megawads.

As far as the importance of getting 100% kills on a first playthrough, I don't think its a big deal. For smaller levels if I'm missing a few monsters I'll go hunting, otherwise forget about it.

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It is very bad if a map is totally unplayable from a pistol start because the author didn't even consider the possibility.

Generally speaking, it is good if a map permits several different styles of play - and Max (i.e. killing everything) is certainly an important and popular one. But if the map is interesting and has good replay value, but without 100% kills being possible, then I'd view it as a success. An author shouldn't feel constrained to make 100% kills feasible, if he wishes to achieve some effect that requires it not to be. On the other hand, if there is no good reason for it, and the author simply didn't bother putting enough ammo in, or forgot to add a berserk, without there being any good reason for this, then that's at least a blemish.

In short: if a map offers interesting and varied gameplay, then it's all good, unkillable monsters be damned.

plums said:

Also, how important is it for people to get 100% kills in a first playthrough?

I only care about getting 100% kills if I am recording a Max demo. Otherwise, if the map offers me an exit, I'll take it without a second thought.

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I always go for 100% in all three before moving on. Most mapsets are unlikely to be played many times, so I might as well see and experience everything it has to offer the first time. If a map cant legitimately reach 100% kills, like one of Plutonia's later maps, I'll use the Kill Monsters console command before hitting the exit switch.

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plums said:

Sometimes when I play old wads with pistol start, when they're not really designed for it, there's nowhere near enough ammo to kill everything on the map without spending a lot of time punching/instigating infighting. This can be fun sometimes, it turns what would normally be an easy level into one where you have to choose your targets carefully and avoid getting cornered. This kind of gameplay is basically absent in newer wads, as far as I know. Is this a thing that anyone likes?


If it's a small map, or has relatively few monsters, it may be ok if there is a chainsaw or berserk. Running out of ammo and having to rely on your sole fists is not fun if there's more than a dozen monsters alive, it takes too long and it can be very difficult depending on which monsters remain.

plums said:

Also, how important is it for people to get 100% kills in a first playthrough? I know I used to try for it in maps that weren't super-hard, but these days I'm fine with just getting to the exit, I find it more fun that way.


Most of the time I try to get 100%, but it's not really that important. I used to get worried about every monster, but after playing a lot of maps where it's not possible (either by mistake or intentionally), I think I started to care less.

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Grazza said:

It is very bad if a map is totally unplayable from a pistol start because the author didn't even consider the possibility.

That's the cool thing, a lot of the time in really old maps where pistol start wasn't considered, the map is normally quite easy by modern standards, and so it sort of ends up balancing out. "Shoot all the imps in front of you" becomes "dodge the imps to save ammo for more important targets."

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On FDAs I normally just want to exit by any means, except the tricks like rocketjumps and stuff. I just think that the author wouldn't be happy to hear that I skipped most of his map, and it feels unfair to use most likely unintended shortcuts. However, there is a PL2 FDA on DSDA where I get frustrated and exit with a little help from one of the arch-viles. :)

While replaying WADs I sometimes set an additional goal for myself to finish all levels with 100%/100% but usually I drop this idea after a while because of some secrets being too hard to find (in Speed of Doom I gave up on this at map06).

It is definitely disheartening to know that there is not enough ammo to kill everything on the map. It's like the world is cruel and you can't win no matter what, only a false victory is possible. I don't like this feeling. Better do it like in Kama Sutra map21: first half of the map you have to run past monsters but at the exit you find a huge stash of ammo and now you can take your revenge.

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I used to go for 100% kills, but these days I tend to be happy if I just got out alive - sometimes I get a particular kick out of this approach, as in certain circumstances it goes along with a feeling of having outwitted the mapper, evading/escaping traps and what not, without having had to kill everying/anything.

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Obhack maps with certain settings did this really well. You might have a couple cacos pestering you with no easy way to kill them or even just like 5 demons could be a difficult problem. The gameplay was actually better than most hand made maps imo, with the right settings. My favorite ones were usually where the ammo was limited or the heavy weapons were near the end of the map. Shotgun guys were the main source of ammo. I only tried version 6.5 and earlier.

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By default I like to get 100% kills and preferably also secrets. But I easily give up on this wish if I'm already tired of the map after some time of playing and reaching an exit. In maps that are easy and play fair with their secrets, or maps that intrigue me in some way, I'll gladly spend additional time to find all remaining monsters and/or secrets.

On the other hand, I find it really uncomfortable when there's not enough resources to get 100% kills even if I play carefully and find secrets and occasionally use infighting. I kind of despise such design, at least usually, if the map doesn't appeal to me in some other way so that I can forgive it.

On a slightly similar note, when making my own maps (for community projects, for example), I try to balance them for both pistol starts and continuous playthrough. I assume that pistol starters desire increased challenge, so I keep tight resources for them on UV. At the same time, I make sure that they have enough resources on UV to get 100% kills if they play carefully and don't find secrets and choose less than ideal paths and miss shots about 10% of time. It's not easy to balance a map like this, but I try. Then I see a demo (I'm glad for demos!) of someone playing my map, spamming the SSG on lone distant enemies and then (later) complaining about ammo shortage, and it makes me sad.

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I like getting 100% kills (and everything if possible!), but unless there's a reason to further explore a map I don't usually go out of my way to kill everything if I've made it to the exit of a map.

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To answer your question whether anyone actually enjoys it, I can find it enjoyable at times, but it's usually because when I play an old wad, I do with premeditated expectations that the map will not be perfect. We're far removed from that period of time that broken or incomplete gameplay isn't very excusable anymore.

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I have nothing wrong with maps that don't permit the player to get 100% kills. A completable level does not necessarily mean you'll be able to kill everything and I think less ammo can lend itself well to continuous playthroughs. It gives players a reason to actually try and stock up on ammunition and supplies whenever possible, as the player may find himself on a map that intentionally starves him of ammo. I personally try to put "just enough" ammo in most of my maps, so anyone on a continuous run really shouldn't have an ammo problem while a pistol-start forces the player to think moderately about his ammo usage. This isn't a hard rule I always follow, obviously, but it does serve as a nice guide.

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40oz said:

To answer your question whether anyone actually enjoys it, I can find it enjoyable at times, but it's usually because when I play an old wad, I do with premeditated expectations that the map will not be perfect. We're far removed from that period of time that broken or incomplete gameplay isn't very excusable anymore.


If a modern map was released that only gave you enough ammo to barely get 25% kills by design, and let you deal with the monsters in other ways (infighting, avoidance, etc.) do you think you would still enjoy it? A bit hypothetical since I can't really think of any modern maps that do this, apart from maybe some MAP30 IoS fights, which are a whole other thing.

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I attempt 100% kills whenever possible on casual play, as it gives me the notion that the map is done. if I don't get it, I assume that the map is bugged in some way.

I really don't want to say it, but my creative false exit on NOVA MAP22 wasn't as smart as I thought it was. I hope we got that whole thing sorted out with barrels instead of barons now.

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I tend to clean up monsters for peace of mind/safety reasons if nothing else, plus a general sense of tidiness and being finished with an area. But ultimately I play to survive and get to the exit, so I have no compulsion to track down wandering monsters, nor do I have a problem with leaving a battle behind if it looks like it's going to drain too many of my resources. I do care about missing large chunks of the level that are optional or secret though, so if I'm missing a bunch of kills I go back and look for those.

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I try to make it possible to achieve 100% kills in all my maps and think it's best practice that this is considered but I do not think it's vital if it will break some concept or gimmick and certainly don't think all monsters should be kill able on sight in a linear fashion. Creative, skillful or secret methods of max killing are fair game in my opinion.

Players who go to extreme lengths to max a level on their first play and complain if they cannot do so for any reason are one of the pet hates I've developed over recent years.

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Somewhat related, I would like to see more maps where the player needs to kill all monsters in an area or some strong enemy as a miniboss to be able to continue. Or minibosses dropping keys.

I guess those require ACS, except if you take advantage of hardcoded triggers of the base games.

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VGA said:

Somewhat related, I would like to see more maps where the player needs to kill all monsters in an area or some strong enemy as a miniboss to be able to continue. Or minibosses dropping keys.

I guess those require ACS, except if you take advantage of hardcoded triggers of the base games.



you can use DECORATE as well regarding the minibosses.

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As a player, I always try for UV-Max, or HNTR-max in the case of a Ribbiks or Cynical map -- but I'm willing to forego that, especially in long maps or maps with super-tricky secrets. Unless I'm playtesting, I rarely play a map more than once, but if I end a map with 20% of the monsters still alive, almost always because they're in secret areas, I'll probably give the map another try.

As a mapper, I'm way more hardcore about making certain my maps can be maxed. I think about speedrunners and try to make certain that everything can be obtained and every monster killed.

I really don't like to suffer ammo starvation as a player, and I've turned against it as a mapper, too, though Heat Miser in Mayhem 2048 was an unusual one that requires the player to manage infights. I'm not sure there's enough ammo to kill everything, but since the infights happen even if the player doesn't manage them, it's never been a problem. ;D

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plums said:

how important is it for people to get 100% kills in a first playthrough? I know I used to try for it in maps that weren't super-hard, but these days I'm fine with just getting to the exit, I find it more fun that way.

I've always found it more fun that way - If I happen to get 100% kills, that's just icing on the cake.

The one where I'm looking to get 100% is secrets, though of course it doesn't always happen. Some secrets/mappers are so damn cryptic!

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What am I, a space marine or a bedbug exterminator?

I'm more interested in the tactical side of Doom, but I have to admit that there is a strong "Spyro the Dragon" type appeal, especially given the size and variety of Doom's environments. It's pleasurable to explore and collect all the things.

I have 100%-ed some games like Spyro, but I generally come to Doom looking for a good fight. Once I'm over the hump, and I'm in control of the situation, I generally prefer to move on to the next challenge.

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100% everything is my goal. I will spend way too long searching for that final secret, or trying to figure out how to open that last locked door, or looking for that last wandering lost soul keeping my kill count down. I have a problem.

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Meh, I wish they counted as kills in vanilla (and problems like them spawning in the void didn't exist). I think it really hurts the aesthetic qualities of a max demo when the player ignores flying skulls that keep attacking him. So ugly and nonsensical. It's cool that Erik Alm made them "true" monsters in Scythe X.

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Memfis said:

Meh, I wish they counted as kills in vanilla (and problems like them spawning in the void didn't exist). I think it really hurts the aesthetic qualities of a max demo when the player ignores flying skulls that keep attacking him.

Agreed fully.

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